IN the absence of reigning champion Ateneo and National University, De La Salle-Zobel is ready to lead the challenge of UAAP teams when the 4th Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) Jumbo Linoleum Plastic Cup fires off on Dec. 12 at the San Beda College gym.
The Junior Archers will parade prolific scorer in Aljun Melecio, who is averaging 29 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in the ongoing UAAP tournament.
They also have a solid supporting cast – especially a very formidable backcourt.
“For me, La Salle Zobel can match San Beda in terms of talent and depth,” said Rudy Yu of Dickies Underwear. “They have an excellent backcourt rotation so I will not be surprised if they will emerge champion this time.”
Ateneo and NU have begged off from taking part in the annual “Battle of Champions” to allow their players a longer respite since the UAAP high school tournament will take a break only on the opening day of the tournament.
Aside from La Salle-Zobel, other UAAP teams in the tournament also sponsored by Blackwater Sports, Rain or Shine, Freego, MEC Networks, Hapee Toothpaste, Dickies Underwear, and Ironcon Builders are Adamson, University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University.
Other participating teams are Arellano University, Mapua and Lyceum of the Philippines from NCAA and Xavier School, Chiang Kai Shek College, Hope Christian High School and Manila Patriotic School from FCAAF.
“The absence of Ateneo and NU makes the race for the title unpredictable and exciting,” said tournament organizer Edster Sy. “Watch out for FCAAF teams.”
Sy, meanwhile, said the coaches meeting will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at San Beda gym.